You might have come across a sensor device called an ‘Electronic Nose’ (also known as an e-nose). ‘Electronic Tongues’ (e-tongues) are also available. And of course there are various types of ‘Electronic Eyes’ (e-eyes). For a rare example of an academic paper which describes the application of all three at the same time, see:
‘Combination of an e-nose, an e-tongue and an e-eye for the characterisation of olive oils with different degree of bitterness‘ in Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 663, Issue 1, 17 March 2010, Pages 91-97.
Note : As yet, there are very few, if any, academic papers covering applications of e-ears. If we hear about any, we will of course let our readers know.
The photo : shows the TS-5000Z e-tongue from Intelligent Sensor Technology, Inc. (not used in the study).